Cover Photo by Anuj Chauhan
Lakshadweep is a beautiful archipelago that stands apart from the rest of the Indian states as a Union Territory. It is a paradise of 36 exotic islands covering an area of 32 sq km, however, only a few of them are open for tourism with permits as the Indian Government wants to preserve its natural beauty.
What attracts travellers towards Lakshadweep islands are its palm-fringed white sandy beaches, sapphire lagoons and colourful coral reefs, adding to the calming reclusive aura that this Union Territory of India has on offer for its guests. People love it as a romantic destination but it is so much more to make for a perfect vacation, especially when you are a first-time visitor.
Here is a list of some of the best islands that you must visit on your first Lakshadweep islands tour.
Minicoy is a coconut covered 10 km long island lying in the southernmost part of the Lakshadweep archipelago. It is also the most populated as compared to the rest of the islands in Lakshadweep, with the customs and traditions influenced by the Dhivehin people of Maldives.
Minicoy is the second-largest island in Lakshadweep that maintains certain tranquillity in its being with stunning coral reefs and pristine beaches. Additionally, people can explore its rich architectural heritage in the form of the British era lighthouse from 1885, 800 years old Buddha stupas and structures, and several ancient mosques.
Further adding to the charm are the 3 shipwrecks lying off the coast that serve as underwater museums. People can explore the museums by diving or snorkelling into the water.
Agatti is one of the less-explored tropical beauties of the Lakshadweep islands that can be a part of your tour package. It attracts visitors with its silvery beaches, blue lagoons and coconut palms in the backdrop.
Besides the natural beauty, its splendid clear water and beautiful blue lagoons make for a perfect spot for exciting water activities like snorkelling, diving, and kayaking. If lucky, you can also get to witness the glowing radiant blue shores caused by the presence of the bioluminescent plankton on the beachside at night.
Agatti Island is also home to one of the oldest museums that give visitors an insight into its rich history and culture. This makes it one of the best places to visit in Lakshadweep.
Kadmat is a beautiful coral island of Lakshadweep that covers an area of 9.3 km in length. It is among those few islands that are open to non-Indians and has a certified PDI centre. What makes it a part of your Lakshadweep tour packages is the serene natural beauty accompanied by the vast expanses of the blue sea and colourful coral reefs. Not to forget the range of water activities like glass-bottom boating, fishing, scuba diving, snorkelling, and kayaking.
People generally take a cruise from Agatti to Kadmat to experience the beautiful views of the blue sea with flying dolphins and peaking turtles. In all, Kadmat is a highly recommended island for first-time visitors as this journey would definitely remain etched in their memory.
Among the few certified PDI centres, Kavaratti island is the capital of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and also the headquarters of the Administration. As the largest and one of the most populated islands in Lakshadweep, it boasts its pristine beaches, calm lagoons, and unspoilt coral reefs, exerting a magnetic pull over snorkelers, scuba divers, kayakers and water activity enthusiasts. What adds more charm to the island is the famous underwater museum that can be visited while scuba diving or snorkelling.
Besides natural beauty, the island is also home to the famous Urja Mosque that is a popular pilgrimage spot for Islamic followers. The mosque was built by Qasim Muhammed Sheikh in the 17th century with beautifully carved pillars and ceilings.
The beautiful water droplet-shaped island, Andrott or Androth is among those less-explored Lakshadweep islands that allow restricted tourism. The island is quite famous for its lighthouse built in the year 1967 that offers an impeccable view of the entire land and the vast blue sea, further attributed by the colourful flying birds. It is also home to the famous Haji Hazrat Ubaidullah Tomb at the Jummat Mosque. The haji is said to have introduced the people of the island to the Islamic culture and beliefs.
Beyond this, the Andrott is a beautiful tropical island like other Lakshadweep islands and attracts visitors looking to relax under the coconut palms at the pristine beaches or enjoy water activities to explore the exotic marine life.
Last but not least on the list is Kalpeni island that is known for offering the best coral reef experience. The island is surrounded by intense lagoons and clear turquoise blue water, offering activities like boating, snorkelling, swimming, and diving. Additionally, the glowing radiant blue aquatic creatures lighting up the shores at night is a sight to behold for first-time visitors.
Besides, the island is also in proximity to the famous Pitti Bird Sanctuary. Pitti is a largely submerged atoll that is identified as an important nestling hub for pelagic birds like the great crested tern, brown noddy, and sooty tern. This makes it a popular bird-watching spot for nature lovers.
Things to do on Lakshadweep Islands
From a romantic boat ride to an exciting dive into the deep blue sea, the dazzling archipelago in India has no dearth of things to do for its guests. Here is what you can do to have a memorable vacation experience.
An exciting part of the Lakshadweep island tourism is hopping from one island to another to completely explore the place and discover sea life. People generally take a cruise from Kochi to Minocoy island and then to the next desired island they wish to explore.
Another exciting way to explore the Lakshadweep islands is on a cruise. It is mostly a five-day package where the days are spent on different islands and the nights on the cruise to cover the distance. Cruising is one of the highly recommended activities to experience the beautiful view of the dazzling archipelago.
Besides a rejuvenating stay, people come to Lakshadweep to experience the thrill of water activities like snorkelling, kayaking, scuba diving, surfing, boating, and canoeing. They are considered as one of the best ways to enjoy the pristine beauty of the underwater world that abounds in Lakshadweep.
Kite surfing has recently gained popularity as an adventure sport in Lakshadweep. There are good instructors on commercialised islands like Kadmat who train and make you practice enough before you actually hit the sky.
Best Time to Visit Lakshadweep Islands
The Lakshadweep archipelago is open for travellers throughout the year. However, the months between October to May are considered the best because of the suitable weather conditions for beach and water activities.
It is important to note that the travellers need to have a permit from the government authorities to be able to enter the Lakshadweep islands. Details on the same can be found on the official website of Lakshadweep tourism along with the map of the islands that are open for tourists.
Pack your bags and get ready to experience the leisure of life on Lakshadweep islands. Check out the popular packages online to have the best luxury holidays in Lakshadweep